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08-21-03, 09:51 PM
ABC's Primetime? It is outstanding!


08-21-03, 10:04 PM

It was OUTSTANDING......

Brought back memories........



08-21-03, 10:19 PM
Brothers in Arms
The Untold Story of One Marine Company in Iraq

Aug. 21— ABCNEWS correspondent Mike Cerre spent four months with U.S. Marine Company Fox 2/5 — from the moment they began training for the coming war in Iraq to the day they finally arrived in Baghdad. Cerre tells the story of some of the fiercest fighting they experienced, and the day they lost one of their own.

The following is an excerpt from Cerre's story, which appeared on ABCNEWS.

‘It Just Went to Hell’

The first indication that we were running into trouble on April 4 was when we saw all the helicopter gunships overhead engaging targets and firing their missiles. We knew we were riding into something that was for real. We only had 32 miles to get to Baghdad and it looked like we were going to be fighting all the way up.

Half an hour up the road, Capt. Michael Elliott recalled, the group came upon an ammo dump. "And that's when it just went to hell," Elliott said, "a huge warehouse filled with ammunition, exploding, hitting our track and blowing out the windows to vehicles."

According to Capt. Terry Johnson, "The explosions were getting more intense and they were just absolutely rocking the tracks. And I was trying to get the unit out of the area."

Just as we were getting out of the kill zone, we heard the call coming over the radio: "Fox 8 is down."

"I got a real bolt of lightning shot through me when I received that word. … That was something I just could not believe," Johnson said.

"Fox 8" was 1st Sgt. Edward Smith. He was the group's leader. He was hit in the head with shrapnel.

You could see the shock and the terror in their eyes, and sadness as well, as they tried to keep him alive. He died on April 5.




08-21-03, 10:23 PM
More Stories....Visit the Link......


Riding It Out
A sandstorm stops U.S. troops, including the 1st Marine Division, in their tracks.
• Unit Background

Going In
Fox 2/5 Company has crossed into Iraq with the 1st Marine Division, correspondent Mike Cerre reports.
• Unit Background

Other Stories
• Praying for Peace
The Marines of Fox 2/5 Company Wait for War

• A New Ride
Fox 2/5 Company Gets Used to Their NewTransport

• Out of Touch
The Marines of Fox 2/5 Long for News From Home

• Personal Fight
Iraqi-American Marine Ready to Help Oust Saddam

• Desert Schedule
Fox 2/5 Company Learns to Sleep During the Day

• On Their Way
Marines of Fox 2/5 Reach the Mideast

• Shipping Out
The Big Day Finally Comes for the Marines of Fox 2/5 Company

• Final Training
The Marines of Fox 2/5 Company Wait to Ship Out



08-21-03, 10:32 PM
Riding Out the Storm
Riding Out the Sandstorm

Reporter's Notebook
By Mike Cerre


ABCNEWS Correspondent Mike Cerre is embedded with the First Marine Division. (ABCNEWS.com)

WITH THE 1ST MARINE DIVISION, Iraq, March 25 — For the first time since the invasion, our Marine unit has been stopped cold by the weather.

These are perhaps the worst sandstorms any of us have experienced in the two months we have been over here. Winds estimated to be 60, 70 miles an hour. Visibility less than 2 feet.

All we could possibly do was to try to take cover wherever we can — behind tanks, behind armored assault vehicles, underneath trucks. We have no tents — we are totally exposed to the elements so we had to take shelter wherever we could take it.

The sand was absolutely blinding. You could not open your eyes. You couldn't open your mouth. Everyone just tried to lay down on the ground, or lay against something to protect their bodies from the sand blasting and their eyes from the sand because you could just, you couldn't see through it.

We went through this for about three hours and then the sandstorm subsided and we saw lightning. And now it's been replaced by a thunderstorm and rainstorm. The rain has cleared out the sky, but now the winds are still high and we're still being hampered by the rain.

The biggest concern the Marines have is that we have been in this position too long. Probably our greatest security has been we've been moving very, very quickly, before the enemy has had a chance to know really where we are.

We have been in this position far too long, three times as long as any other position we've been in. And we were planning to leave when sandstorm hit. We couldn't leave because we had security teams out on patrol, patrolling the area because there had been attacks from our north and south the previous evening and they were very much more security-conscious. But because our security patrols were out, we could not move because we couldn't get them in with the bad weather.

The Black of Night

So now it is nightfall and it's pitch black and we cannot move because even with the night vision equipment, you can see if there is some illumination in the sky from the moon. And with the sandstorm and the rainstorm, we don't have that much illumination. So it looks like we may have to stay here a few more hours, which is probably the greatest concern for the Marines.

As far as the morale is concerned, this unit, we've been here in the dessert since Feb. 1 and the first morning we were here in the desert we got hit with a sandstorm and thought it was quite a novelty. This sandstorm was probably twice the magnitude of that original sandstorm and the novelty has long since worn off. It has been very, very difficult to operate.

The other problem is the Marines have been packed into armored assault vehicles. We've been traveling night and day for the last four days and it's so confining in the assault vehicles that any chance they can get out is a welcome chance. Now they're back inside the assault vehicles hiding from the weather and knowing they'll probably be in there again another two days traveling. So that is probably been the biggest morale concern.
Typical for the Marines — they try to make humor out of the worst situations. As one Marine told me, "Well, we've had the sandstorm, we've had the rainstorm, let's get ready for the locusts.

And given the way our luck has been going so far, the locusts probably can't be that far away."